Structure and procedure of the study
In order to be able to use our cosinuss° sensors in the alpine environment, it must first be clarified whether an ear-based sensor technology is actually suitable for reliably and validly recording vital parameters and body temperature in an alpine environment. On the other hand, the question arises whether movement data and vital parameters are suitable to characterize performance physiological aspects of mountaineering in an accurate and medically meaningful way.
The answer to the first question was completed in the fall of 2021 with promising results. For this purpose, the prototype of the in-ear sensor c-med° alpha was tested in the mountain weather room of the Mountain Rescue Center for Safety and Training (BW-ZSA) at -20°C to +20°C and under different wind conditions (+/- 30km/h) with respect to technical validity and suitability in extreme climatic conditions on more than 130 volunteers. It could be shown that the sensor measures reliably even under unfavorable and changing environmental conditions. In particular, the measured temperature values of the sensor appear to be superior to standard methods, as the sensor creates a kind of “microclimate” in the ear and is thus less susceptible to external climatic influences. Based on these promising results, the project was awarded the scientist prize at the 2021 Mountain Rescue Conference (“Wissenschaftlerpreis der Bergrettungstagung 2021”).
To be able to answer the second question, analyses on different movement patterns and vital parameters during simulated mountain rescue scenarios from terrestrial to air rescue missions are ongoing. Over 50 scenarios have already been recorded and are currently being analyzed by scientists. Pattern recognition algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) are used to analyze the recorded data. Initial results show that movements such as vibrations of the helicopter cabin during air rescue missions do not significantly affect the quality of the in-ear sensor technology.
Our cosinuss° sensor technology was tested during terrestrial rescue exercises.
Our in-ear sensors have also been tested in simulated and real air rescue missions (here at the Munich Simulation Center).
In addition, the in-ear sensors were used during a four-day exercise with piste rescue on the Hintertux glacier (Munich standby, Mountain Rescue Tyrol).